We brush our hair and we brush our teeth but what about
brushing our bodies? While the notion may sound far
fetched to some, the fact remains that brushing the body
has been practiced for thousands of years by many cultures.
The Greeks, Japanese, and native Americans brushed
themselves, and likewise the Comanche tribe scrubbed
their skin with sand from the river bottoms in Texas. To
this day, body brushing remains a popular practice in
Scandinavia and is thought to be responsible for their
healthy, glowing complexions. If brushing and scrubbing
the skin was and is yet so popular, what can we learn
from it today?
Body Brushing: What is it?
Known in some circles as dry brushing, the practice
of body brushing is a simple exercise of stroking the skin
by utilizing a soft-to-medium brush, preferrably a natural
bristle type. Loofah mits or 'sponges' can also be used,
providing that they are not too harsh on the skin.
Body Brushing: Why do it?
The practice of body brushing has been historically
popular because it helps to detoxify and rejuvenate the
body by activating the lymph system. The skin is the largest
elimination organ of the body and is filled with thousands
of pores that can and often do become clogged. Clogged
pores do not allow the body to perspire or "breathe"
which prevents proper elimination of waste. When waste
backs up, toxins become trapped in the body, resulting
in cellular stress that can cause inflammation (pain),
sickness, and disease. Activating the body's ability to
naturally eliminate toxic residues is an important key
that contributes vibrant health.
Body Brushing: The benefits
Many health enthusiasts consider body brushing to be
a highly effective, whole-body massage: a veritable
'dry bath' that boasts many benefits.
· Stimulates elimination of cellular waste
· Aids in lymphatic drainage
· Increases circulation by bringing blood up to the skin's
surface which aids in eliminating metabolic waste.
· Improves metabolism
· Rejuvenates nervous system by stimulating nerve endings
· Helps the bodys natural detoxification process
. Improves digestion and kidney function
· Exfoliates by eliminating dead skin cells thus clearing
clogged pores and allowing the skin to 'breathe.'
· Tightens skin, reducing the appearance of cellulite
· Helps with muscle tone
· Helps to distribute fat deposits more evenly
· Allows for better absorption of products
· Stimulates oil glands that protect the skin; smoothes
and softens the skin and aids in the skin's suppleness
. Slows the aging process by eliminating wrinkles and
preventing hair loss
. Gives the sking a healthy 'glow'
Brushing enthusiasts consider the practice to be a
meditative experience in that it reduces muscle
tension, calms the mind, and relieves stress.
Body Brushing: How to do it
- Use long, light but brisk strokes of the brush.
- Avoid applying undo pressure with the brush that
could irritate the skin, causing pain.
- Avoid brushing sensitive areas such as the face,
genitals, varicose veins or skin abrasions or cuts.
- If necessary, sit down to make the routine more
comfortable and enjoyable.
- Always brush toward your heart which is best for
circulation and your lymphatic system.
Brush your entire body in the following manner:
- Start on the sole of your right foot
- Advance upward to your ankle, shin, calf, and knee.
- Repeat the same on the left foot and lower leg.
- Next brush upwards on your right and then left thigh,
advancing from the knee up.
- Move up to your abdomen and brush it with a circular motion.
- Brush each arm, starting with the palm, brushing inward
towards your heart.
- Gently brush the chest area in a circular motion
(women should avoid the breast area unless using a soft
- Brush the neck area by starting at the back of the neck and
stroking with the brush towards the front (avoid your face).
- Use a long handled brush to stroke your back or, if
possible, have someone do it for you."
Body Brushing: When to do it
Body brushing can be done at any time, but since the body is
in a cleansing cycle from midnight to noon, brushing first thing
in the morning within this cycle is most advantageous. However,
brushing can also be done before bed or when convenient.
Choosing the right time to brush is a matter of personal
preference. If brushing in the morning, do so before
bathing and follow with a glass of lemon water to prepare
the digestive system for the day.
Body brushing is a simple art once practiced by ancients
that is timeless in principle as well as application. Its many
health benefits are undeniable. Lightly stroking the skin
is an invigorating experience that awakens, energizes,
and improves overall body performance. For a small
investment of time and effort, a new level of wellness
can be achieved! Therefore give it a try. You will be
pleasantly surprised by what body brushing does for you!
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou
mayest prosper and be in health, even as
thy soul prospereth.- 3 John 2
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